A fifth major? What happened when the Champions Tour did it
Champions Tour LPGA Tour

A fifth major? What happened when the Champions Tour did it

The LPGA Tour's Evian Championship may have been washed away on Day 1 due to rain, but at some point this week, a new era and a fifth major will be official born.

Of course, the LPGA isn't the first tour to introduce a fifth major. That distinction belongs to the Champions Tour, which made the Senior British Open its fifth major beginning in the 2003 season.

The Champions Tour could not have asked for a better kickoff for their new major.

The 2003 Senior British Open was played at Turnberry, where the famous Duel in the Sun happened in 1977 between Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus (and, later, where Watson nearly won the '09 Open Championship at age 59). Watson, who took the Day 1 co-lead in the 2003 U.S. Open after an inspiring 65, was in great form at a place he loved.

On the final day, Watson shot 6-under 64 to get into contention, but it wasn't good enough until leader Carl Mason double-bogeyed the final hole to drop into a playoff. On the second playoff hole, Watson hit a booming 325-yard drive and hit the green for an easy par. Meanwhile, Mason struggled to the green in four shots, leaving the concession and the title to Watson.

Tom Watson didn't have long-time caddie and friend Bruce Edwards on the bag that week. Edwards, who was in the final stages of his battle against Lou Gehrig's disease (ALS), stayed at home. Watson credited him with the win.

"It's almost destiny that that happened. Bruce was with me today," Watson said. "You don't pull for a guy to make a mistake, but he (Edwards) had something to do with Carl's demise at the 18th."

About the author


Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for over a decade, working for NBC Sports, Golf Channel, Yahoo Sports and SB Nation. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He used to be a good golfer.

Ballengee can be reached by email at ryan[at]thegolfnewsnet.com

Ryan occasionally links to merchants of his choosing, and GNN may earn a commission from sales generated by those links. See more in GNN's affiliate disclosure.

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment